1

My first language does not have articles, and I am really struggling to understand why people sometimes use them and sometimes do not. I understand general rule that "the" means one specific thing and that "a" means one (but not specific), but still in many situation I see people use "the" for plural, or they do not use article at all.

Please can you explain for the following case is it:

"give a credit for"

or

"give credit for"

"credit" in this case is "commendation" or "honor". ("give credit for idea")

I googled it and saw that majority of the results are "give credit for" but I do not understand why. What am I missing?

Is it because credit used as honor is uncountable?

  • Where credit means an award, a distinction (as a recognized level of academic achievement), a teacher could give a credit to a student, but that's a specialized usage. Usually if you give someone credit (for doing something good) you're giving him recognition - in that context it's an abstract uncountable noun, so no article. Your commendation, honor can both reflect either sense. This type of question would be better on English Language Learners – FumbleFingers Jan 23 '16 at 12:28
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Credit is an uncountable noun in this case. As in:

He deserves some credit.

Give him a little bit of credit.

He should get a lot of credit for it.

Your second choice is therefore correct.

  • So, if I want to specify I will need to include countable noun like (bit, lot) next to an uncountable noun. Here for instance "uncountable" looks like uncountable noun and you have used it as countable. – IngoP Jan 23 '16 at 12:36
  • @IngoP: Only if you wish to be specific about how much credit, exactly, he or she deserves. Otherwise, you can just say, "They deserve credit for it." – Ricky Jan 23 '16 at 12:38
  • "Credit is an uncountable noun in this case. As in:" it is "an uncountable" unconutable is adjective what rule is used there ? – IngoP Jan 23 '16 at 12:42
  • @IngoP: Like sugar, water, coffee, gold, food, etc. Some of them can be forced into being countable: "Let me get a coffee." But usually it's "Do you drink coffee?" "Yes, and I like sugar in my coffee, too." "I'm going to the store. - What for? - To get food." Etc, etc. The word "credit" is in the same category. Unless we're discussing college credits. – Ricky Jan 23 '16 at 12:55

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